Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 4, November 1718 - December 1722. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1925.
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Journal, October 1720
Their Lordships considering further of a proper method to prevent the exportation of wool, the Earl of Westmorland produced to the Board a certificate from Sir Charles Duncombe, Mayor of the Wool Staple at Westminster, dated 28th May, 1701, admitting and allowing Ambrose Hill, woolwinder, for an able and lawful workman for the true winding and folding of wools: and Sir Charles Cooke also communicated to the Board a Proclamation of 5th February, 1663, against the deceitful winding and folding of wools. And Mr. Wright, clerk to the said company, attending, their Lordships had some discourse with him thereupon, and being asked several questions, 1st: relating to the constitution of the company of wool men, he said that the authority under which they acted, was grounded upon an Act of Parliament, passed in the 27th year of King Edward the 3rd; and that all the staple towns were settled by the same authority. That as to the running of wool, it was chiefly by those people who for cheapness employed others than sworn woolwinders. That there were some counties where there were none, as particularly Sussex and Essex, but that were there a general law passed that none should be imployed, but those that were sworn, it would enable their Lordships to have constant accounts of the whole quantity of wool made in a year; upon the whole he was desired to talk with the gentlemen of that Company, and let their Lordships have an account of that matter, which he promised to do against Tuesday or Wednesday.
A letter from Mr. Woolley, Secretary to the East India Company, dated the 23rd September last, inclosing the translation of the Dutch Placaert, relating to the East India Trade &c., and in relation to their attendance at the Board, was read; and ordered that the Secretary acquaint Mr. Woolley that the Board desire to speak with some of the East India Company on Thursday morning next.
Their Lordships taking again into consideration the letter from Mr. Delafaye of 13th of last month, inclosing, by order of the Lords Justices, the petition of Monsr. Hiriberry, with several other papers relating to some fish taken from the French at Cançeau, by Captain Smart, of His Majesty's ship the Squirrel, (mentioned in the Minutes of the 20th of last month), gave directions for preparing the draught of a representation to the Lords Justices thereupon.
A letter from Mr. Woolley, Secretary to the East India Company, dated yesterday, in excuse of several of the directors of the said Company, appointed to attend this Board to-day, and signifying that they will wait on their Lordships this day seven-night, was read; whereupon ordered that Mr. Woolley be acquainted that the Board of Directors will be expected as they have promised.
The draught of a representation, ordered the 4th inst., to be prepared, upon the petition of Monsr. Hirribery, and other papers enclosed in Mr. Delafaye's letter of 13th of the last month, relating to some fish &c., taken from several of the French at Cançeau, by Captain Smart of His Majesty's ship Squirrel, was agreed, transcribed and signed.
A letter from Mr. Pulteney, one of His Majesty's Commissaries in France, to the Secretary of this Board, dated the 5th October, 1720, N.S., relating to the French subjects fishing at Cançeau, on the coast of Nova Scotia, was read.
A memorial from General Nicholson, Governor of Carolina, relating to the Commissioners for trying pirates in that province, with a list of persons proposed by him to be of the said Commission, were read; and
Mr. Boon, Agent for Carolina, and Mr. Barnwell, attending on the same occasion, and being desired to name such persons as they would propose for commissioners to try pirates in Carolina, they prepared a list of such persons and presented the same to the Board, which was read, and their lordships agreed to reconsider both the said lists at the next meeting.
Mr. Wright and several others of the Company of Woolmen alias Wool Packers of London attending, they were asked if they had anything to offer in writing for preventing the exportation of wool to France; whereupon they said they had not reduced their thoughts on that subject into writing, but promised to do it and bring them to the Board in a few days; in the meantime, their Lordships had some discourse with them relating to that matter, and they particularly offered as their opinion, that it would be of public service that all wool growers or owners of sheep should be obliged to employ no other person whatsoever in winding their fleeces than such as should be approved by the said Company of Woolmen, of London. And they further observed, that of the wool from Ireland, ten times as much is exported thence to France, as is exported from Ireland to England. That many years ago, it is presumed there were Mayors of the Staple in other towns besides Westminster, but that now they know of no other, and the said Mayor gives licences to wool winders after they have been tried and approved by the Company of Woolmen. That there are now but about 10 or 12 counties of England who apply for licensed wool winders. And being asked concerning their Charter, they said, they were an ancient company by prescription, time out of mind, and did not know of any charter they now had.
These gentlemen being withdrawn, ordered that a letter be writ to Sir William Withers, Mayor of the Wool Staple at Westminster, to desire he will summon the proper officers of the said Staple, and upon consulting with them, to let this Board have in writing what they think most effectual to prevent the exportation of wool.
Sir Matthew Decker, Sir John Eyles, Sir Robert Nightingale, Mr. Harrison, Mr. Dawson and Mr. Lisle, Directors of the East India Company, attending, according to appointment, as also Mr. Thomas Woodford, their solicitor, the answer of the said Directors to the letters writ to their Secretary, on the address of the House of Lords about preventing the wearing and using painted and stained calicoes, and the difficulties the East India Company lie under in carrying on their trade, was read, as also the copy of the said address; whereupon their Lordships had some discourse with these gentlemen on several articles of their said answer. And the said Directors being particularly asked, what were the bulkey and weighable goods on which they say, so heavy duties are laid, equal to a prohibition, they mentioned drugs, and promised to send the Board a particular account of them and others goods they refer to. As to pepper, they observed that it is sold in the shops at 20d. per pound, though the duty, if paid, is 2 shillings per pound. In relation to calicoes, they observed that those goods were purchased in India with our woollen manufactures, which last they said, could not be disposed of there, in any quantities, if we did not take the manufactures of India, besides that the Dutch and Ostenders would thereupon ingratiate themselves with the Mogul and bring calicoes cheaper to Holland and Flanders, which would supply several parts of Germany where English stuffs are now worn, and beat those stuffs out by the cheapness of the said calicoes. But their Lordships having ordered their Secretary to read the address of the Lords House, upon which this matter was referred to them, observed thereupon, that the said address seems to take it for granted that the wearing of calicoes was to be prohibited, and had therefore referred to this Board to think of an equivalent for the said prohibition; whereas the company by their memorial seemed on the contrary to take it for granted that the calicoes were not to be prohibited, and did not withstanding demand several new advantages.
However, their Lordships declared they should be ready to hear any reasons the company had to offer against the prohibition of painted calicoes, intended by the late Bill in Parliament, as well as to consider of any proposition for an equivalent in case the said prohibition should take place.
An Order of Council of 11th inst., requiring this Board to present to the Council the names of such persons as they shall think proper for executing a Commission for trying pirates in South Carolina, was read; whereupon their Lordships agreed to take the same into further consideration at the next meeting.
A representation to the Lords Justices against an Act passed in Barbadoes in February. 1718–19, intituled, An Act to impower the Governor or Commander in Chief and Council, for the time being, to commute the valuation of powder, arms and ammunition that are or shall be found wanting in the account of the stock-keepers, &c., was read.
A letter from Mr. Archibald Cummings, dated the 14th inst., giving account of some depredations and insults committed by the French on His Majesty's subjects fishing at Cançeau on the coast of Nova Scotia, was read, and a representation thereupon to the Lords Justices drawn up, agreed and signed.
The said Mr. Cummings attending with Captain Benjamen Young, who said, he was Lieutenant of His Majesty's ship Rose, on the station of Nova Scotia, in the year 1717. The said Captain Young laid before their Lordships a draught made by himself of the sea coast of Nova Scotia and adjacent Islands; and in discourse on that subject, particularly acquainted the Board, that the harbour of Cançeau was very convenient for ships and had about eight fathom water; and their Lordships desiring Captain Young to let them have a memorial in writing of what he knew of the province of Nova Scotia and the proceedings of the French in those parts since the Peace, he promised to prepare a memorial thereof accordingly.
General Nicholson, Governor of Carolina, attending with Colonel Barnwell and Mr. Boon, their Lordships took into consideration the lists before them of persons proposed to be Commissioners for trying pirates in Carolina; and the said list being read, their Lordships had some discourse with these gentlemen, as to the characters of the persons therein named, and the Board agreed to reconsider the same at another opportunity; in the meantime, ordered that Mr. West, one of His Majesty's Counsel at Law, be acquainted that their Lordships desire to speak with him.
Mr. Long attending, together with John Conrad Weiser and William Scheef, whose petition, in behalf of several of the Palatines in the province of New York, is referred to this Board, they were called in, and their Lordships after several inquiries by Mr. Long, who interpreted for the said Weiser and Scheef, ordered the said Long to put in writing for them, and bring to the Board an account of the numbers of the said Palatines in the said Province, the places of their settlement, what they have to present, and what they further desire.
A letter from Mr. Delafaye, of the 18th inst., transmitting by order of their Excellencies the Lords Justices, the copy of a memorial from Sir Robert Sutton, His Majesty's Ambassador at the Court of France, to the Regent, in relation to the release of several prisoners at Canada, and the Regent's order to the Marquiss de Vaudreuil, to release the said prisoners, was read.
Colonel Lekeux, Mr. Eader and some others of the Company of Weavers of London attending, presented to their Lordships a memorial from the Bailiffs and Wardens of the said Company, in answer to the letter writ them by the Secretary of this Board, the 4th August last, which memorial was read; and their Lordships having some discourse with them on the subject of their trade, they said among other things, that the address of the House of Lords last year, in relation to the wear of painted and stained calicoes &c., had been of considerable service to the Weavers and other Silk and Woollen manufacturers in this Kingdom, and that they believed little or no calicoes had been since bought. That as to the particular interest of the Weavers, they had nothing to add to the arguments they had formerly offered in their behalf. These gentlemen being then asked, if they had turned their thoughts to prevent the exportation of wool, Mr. Eader answered, that the proclamation which encouraged servants and accomplices to make discoveries of the exportation of wool, had been of good use, and he said, in his opinion, the most effectual remedy would be to make the reward easy to be come at, observing that at present the charge of condemnation of forfeited wool is too great; and it being further enquired by the Board what proportion of stuffs are now annually made in England, to what were made about twenty years ago, they said about two thirds more, and those chiefly for home consumption, and they further observed that about 2/3rd or ¾th of all our woollen manufactures usually were and still are consumed at home. And in relation to the value of wool, they said that fine wool is not so much advanced in price as the ordinary coarser sort, the latter being now sold for three times as much as it used to be about ten years ago.
Ordered that the Secretary write to the Commissioners of the Excise, to desire they would let this Board have an account of the Excise upon stained calicoes and linnens for one year, ending at Midsummer last.
A letter from Mr. Pulteney, one of His Majesty's Commissaries in France, to the Board, dated this day, N.S., relating to the running of wool from His Majesty's Dominions into France, and to clandestine importations of French goods into Great Britain, by ships hovering on the coast, was read; and their Lordships agreed to reconsider the said letter with other papers on that subject.
Mr. West, one of His Majesty's Counsel at Law, attending, as
desired, their Lordships had some discourse with him relating to
the new Commission preparing to pass the Great Seal for trying
pirates in His Majesty's province of South Carolina, and being
particularly asked his opinion whether the said new Commission
might not repeal or vacate so much of the Commission now in force,
for trying pirates in Virginia, Carolina and Maryland, as relates to
South Carolina, and leave what relates to the other Colonies in force,
he said, he did not think it would vacate any part of the said Commission, but that a new Commission for South Carolina only would create a new concurrent jurisdiction for that province.
Their Lordships took this occasion of desiring Mr. West to consider how prosecutions for forfeiture of wool, intended to be run out of this kingdom, might be made more easy and less expensive than at present, which he promised to do; in the meantime, ordered that Mr. Ingram and Mr. Ashurst be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with them on Thursday morning next, on that subject.
The draught of a representation for laying before their Excellencies the Lords Justices a list of persons fit to be inserted in the new Commission, for trying pirates in South Carolina, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
Their Lordships then proceeded to take into consideration several proposals delivered into the office for preventing the exportation of wool; and those from Mr. Joseph Davey of Barnstaple, Mr. Armour, Mr. John Middleton, a scheme from an anonymous person, the proposals of Mr. St. Hill, read the 21st of the last month, Mr. Webber and Mr. Humphrey Morse, were severally read; and their Lordships agreed to proceed in the consideration of that affair at another opportunity. In the meantime, some directions were given towards preparing the draught of a representation about the exportation of wool from this kingdom and Ireland; and ordered that the said Mr. Morse be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with him as soon as may be.
A reference from Mr. Delafaye, of the 20th inst., upon a petition to His Majesty from several merchants trading to Portugal, in behalf of themselves and other British merchants and factors residing there, was read, together with the said petition, whereupon ordered that the petitioners be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with them on this day seven-night.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Craggs, of the 21st November last, together with an extract of one from Mr. Burgess, His Majesty's Resident at Venice, dated the 10th of the same month, N.S., a copy of the said Resident's memorial to the Senate there, and of their answer, all relating to British merchant ships being visited in that port, were read; whereupon the draught of a letter from the Secretary to Mr. Claude Jamineau, for his opinion whether the Decree of the Senate, which impowers the Custom House Officers to go on board and visit all ships coming to Venice, be of that ill consequence to the British trade, as was at first apprehended, and desiring him or any of the gentlemen trading to Venice, to lay before this Board what particular inconveniences they have received thereby.
A letter from Mr. Colebourne, Mayor of Norwich, dated the 3rd of the last month, referring to the undermentioned representation or memorial of the worsted weavers of that city, concerning the present state of their trade, was read.
A memorial of the Master and Wardens of the Weavers' Company at Canterbury, relating to their trade the last year, was likewise read; and their Lordships agreed to reconsider the memorial at another opportunity.
The draught of a letter from the Secretary of this Board to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, upon His Lordship's letter, mentioned in the Minutes of the 22nd of the last month, relating to a copartnership authorized by the Royal Boroughs of Scotland, for carrying on the fishery on that coast, was agreed and ordered to be sent.
A memorial from Captain Benjamin Young, relating to the coast of Nova Scotia, the fishery there, and the proceedings of the French in those parts, was read; and their Lordships agreed to reconsider the same at another opportunity.
Mr. Stephen Godin and Mr. Samuel Baron attending, presented to the Board a memorial signed by themselves and several other merchants trading to Carolina, containing proposals of several things necessary to be done, in order to the improvement and preservation of the trade and settlement of that Colony, which was read; and their Lordships agreed to take the same into further consideration at another opportunity, but in the meantime, these gentlemen were acquainted that most of the particulars in the said memorial are already provided for in the Instructions to the Governor His Majesty has appointed for South Carolina.
Mr. Ingram. attending, as desired, their Lordships had some
discourse with him relating to the carriage of wool in this kingdom,
and being particularly asked what is the charge of carrying a pack
of wool by land from London to Leeds, he said, 15d. per pack, and upon
enquiring concerning the carriage of wool from and to the same
place by sea, he said, the clothiers in Yorkshire would rather give
double the price for land carriage, than have their wool brought
by sea, where it receives so much drainage, observing that no wool
works well after receiving salt water. Being then asked concerning
the carriage of wool from London to Exeter, Cirencester and other
places in the west of England, he said, he was a stranger to those
parts, but would make what enquiries their Lordships pleased, from
persons who he knew could inform him; whereupon the undermentioned queries were delivered to Mr. Ingram, to which he
promised to bring answers.
What is the charge of carriage of a pack of wool from Dover, Hastings or Rye to London, both by land and water.
What is the charge of carriage by land of a pack of wool from London to Cirencester, in Gloucestershire, and from London to Colchester, in Essex.
What is the freight of a pack of wool from London to Exeter.
And the Secretary was ordered to give Mr. Ingram a letter from him and Mr. Ashurst, to carry to Mr. West, in order to inform him of the particular difficulties and extraordinary expences in the prosecutions for forfeiture of wool.